An egg cracker

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Reflection 2: Post Microteaching Blog

I went to class that morning (6th Nov, Monday 830am) with great enthusiasm and passion about the topic (Pollution). Having to deliver a lesson early on a Monday morning is a difficult task. Firstly, I got to get the lesson plans and worksheets ready on Sunday!!! (And the photocopy girl made a mistake and wastes a lot of paper!) Secondly, my brain is not functioning well so early in the morning and thirdly, the "students" look as sleepy as me. Handling sleepy students can really kill my enthusiasm by a great deal!

Lucky for me, my dear classmates did not simulate much problems for me. The most prominent and persisting problem I get is a slow learner in the class (acted very well by Mel). During the lesson, Mel interrupted many times to ask me to slow down and repeat myself or ask me to re-explain the things I’ve said. During the first few interruptions, I was patient enough to slow down and repeat my words for her. Subsequently, I really got quite impatient and sort of ignore her and ask her to just copy and understand as much as she could.

After the micro lesson, I reflected upon the way I handle Melissa and feel that I was indeed a little un-empathetic towards her. However, I was also thinking, how realistic is it that I will get a student with learning disabilities in my classroom.

This again link back to the whole discussion of inclusively we had in the other module (Individual differences). Should we include students with learning disabilities into mainstream schools? In the microteaching class, it is evident that Melissa is the only one with mild learning disability and the rest of the classmates are not empathetic to her special needs. There are many instances where the class asks me to move on and leave her alone.

I feel that the inclusion of students with learning disabilities into mainstream schools may not be in the best interests of these students. The success of the inclusion will depends heavily on the type of disability, the knowledge of the teachers and peers on the disability, the infrastructure of the school and the tolerance level of the teachers and peers.

Having a single student with learning disability in the class will create more stress for the teacher and more tension between that classmate with the rest of the class. However, it is my fault that I overlooked an important “teachable moment” in the microteaching class. Instead of focusing the lesson on pollution, I could have given a pep talk to the class discussing about the way they treat Melissa. I could have made use of the opportunity to teach students about inclusion, empathy and care for their classmate as well as for others. Character building is what makes the core business of education, isn’t it?